Often, we need to just move away from thoughts of pandemics and other such problems of humanity and our broken world and simply worship God. So, listen to our psalmist in Psalm 92 and be inspired:
1 It is good to praise the Lord
and make music to your name, O Most High,
2 proclaiming your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,
3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.
4 For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
5 How great are your works, Lord,
how profound your thoughts!
So, why is it good to praise the Lord? Longman suggests the following:
“It is good because it is right, since praise is fitting to God, whose nature and actions call for it. His love (or covenant loyalty; hesed) and his faithfulness to his relationship to his people are the grounds on which they worship him. It is good because it feels right, since we were created to praise him… God’s love and faithfulness issue forth in deeds… Not only are God’s works great, but so are his thoughts.” (# 30)
This psalm (particularly verses 1-5) is also “music to a musician’s ears!” says Don Wyrtzen in his daily devotional book “A Musician Looks at the Psalms.” He continues:
“What motivates me to praise is the impact of the Lord’s works – not only his acts in history but also his personal supernatural work in my life… The Lord really has done profound and amazing things! His thoughts are infinite and astonishing. I want my life to be captivated by his greatness and grandeur. What cause for singing, playing and dancing!” (# 47)
There is no doubt about it, it is good to praise the Lord, and to be “captivated by his greatness and grandeur”!
But, having worshipped, what next? It is not actually mentioned in this psalm, but in many others our responsibility to make Him known to the people around us is mentioned. For example, Psalm 96:1-3 which says:
Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvellous deeds among all peoples.
Recently I read an old journal of mine from 2007. In it I quoted from an Evangelical Missions Quarterly (EMQ) magazine concerning motivation for missions, particularly what motivated “millennials… passion for mission”. The author, Murray Decker, writes of a number of factors, but in the context of what I have written above the first point is relevant. He says, it is,
“Worship – centred motivation.” He continues: “John Piper’s book, ‘Let the Earth be Glad’ resonates with this generation …its focus is ‘God’s passion for His glory as the largest theme of history’ i.e., God’s glory as the motivation for mission! … previously the motivation for missions preached at most conferences was need based.” (EMQ 18/12/07)
I certainly don’t think the author was suggesting that, to the ‘millennials’ the “need” was not relevant or even great, but that they may now have the priorities in the right order.
John Piper in his book says:
“The ultimate goal of God in all history is to uphold and display His glory for the enjoyment of the redeemed from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. His goal is the gladness of his people, because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him… The goal of missions therefore is the gladness of the peoples in the greatness of God.”
Let me finish off with the words of Psalm 67:1-3
May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine on us –
2 so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.
3 May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you. Amen.